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The Killing Doll Paperback – 2 Mar 1995

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (2 Mar. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099399504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099399506
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.8 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Rendell’s psychological insights are so absorbing, it’s easy to forget what a superb plotter she is" (The Times)

"Ruth Rendell's books are not only whodunits but whydunits, uncovering the motive roots of murder" (Mail on Sunday)

"Ruth Rendell is surely one of the greatest novelists presently at work in our language. The extraordinary depth and accuracy of her psychological portraits is matched only by the rare inventiveness of her storytelling" (Scott Turow)

"Once her characters start twisting on every-tightening tracks, their fates are brilliantly sealed, and it’s never obvouis who’ll be the victim or the culprit. Rendell’s greatest trick is making an unforeseen outcome feel predestined" (Financial Times)

"The most brilliant mystery novelist of our time" (Patricia Cornwell)

Book Description

Voodoo magic, murderous desires and mental illness are brought together with terrifying effect by the world's greatest mystery writer and author of bestselling psychological thrillers including Thirteen Steps Down.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's quite hard to do a summary of this novel. As with all the best Ruth Rendell it conveys a very strong atmosphere of its own, of lonely, maladjusted people living lives alienated from mainstream society, and an awful lot of plot is packed into its 236 pages. On the minus side it can feel very disjointed at times. There is little sense of time in the whole book, and years go past in the twinkling of an eye, which can make you feel uninvolved. It's like watching a very weird soap opera on Fast Forward! At the centre of the story is Dolly, a young woman who feels removed from society because of a large birth-mark on her face. She ekes out a living doing dressmaking for friends and neighbours, she is a borderline alcoholic, and the centre of her whole lonely existence is her younger brother Peter (known as Pup) whom she adores to distraction.
Dolly believes that Peter is a master magician, who can solve all people's problems using spells, and even make people die or disappear. The truth is that Peter went through an adolescent phase of toying with magic, but lost interest when he discovered the charms of the opposite sex instead, (Peter has a neat line in chat-ups, he tells every woman he fancies that he is still a virgin and they must show him the ropes!). They live with their father, a widower, who spends most of his time reading historical novels. Although somehow he seems to come out of his books long enough to marry a much younger woman, Myra, who is on the rebound from an affair with a married man. It is Myra moving into the house, and disturbing their cosy set-up, that prompts Dolly to press Peter for her removal, a sort of assassination-by-magic.
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Format: Paperback
This has got to be one of Ruth Rendell's strangest books. All the characters are just plain weird. The writing is brilliant, and the psychologically unbalanced cahracters are drawn with an ease and assurance that makes the act of reading about them somewhat disturbing. The climax is completley unexpected, and it is in true Rendell fashion. This is one not to be missed. One of her very best books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I reread The Killing Doll after some twenty years and I still love it. Ruth Rendell is very good in portraying the psychology of her characters, especially the minds going into pieces. I also like the way she describes the mielieu and the way of life of the protagonists, often very far removed from the country houses of Christie.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, I'll begin by saying, I usually love Ruth Rendell books, she is a mistress of creating strange tales of dysfunctional charactors who by twists and turns of fate manage to get embroiled with some kind of murder/s or other! The Killing Doll does not live up to her usual compelling standards. The plot seemed too formuliac, a bit too standardized, almost too contrived; the charactors were too dysfunctional and had no depth, one never really knows just why they ended up such misfits. The whole story was simply unsatisfactory, its hard to pin point why. Her charactors had none of the quiet 'madness' that have made her other books so compulsive, I didnt really care where the charactors ended up or what they did, because they did not seem authentic to me. This is the first time a Ruth Rendell book has had this disappointing effect on me. I'm hoping the next one I read will recapture my love of her books, but this one, for me, was decidedly mediocre.
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